Famous Bean Dip (More Correctly Known as Layered Dip)

Anyone who knows the Calvin clan knows Bean Dip (originally known as Layered Dip). It’s easy, tasty, and everyone loves it. And don’t be scared of the cream cheese; it works quite well in this recipe and few people are able to guess that it is, indeed, cream cheese.

Prep Time: 10 minutes (assuming you use pre-chopped onion)
Bake Time: 30 minutes (give or take)
Serves 4.


  • 1 box of cream cheese
  • 1 can refried beans
  • 1 can chili without beans (although chili with beans will suffice in a pinch)
  • Chopped onion
  • 4 oz. Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • Tortilla chips


In 8″ x 8″ pan (or medium-sized Corning Ware), soften cream cheese in microwave (about one minute) and spread over bottom of pan.  Over cream cheese, layer refried beans, then can of chili.  Sprinkle chopped onion over the top.  (The original recipe called for one small onion, but we thought this was excessive. You can use half a chopped onion if you’re industrious, but I just use a sprinkling of minced onion or frozen chopped onion.)  Add cheese.  Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes, until heated through and cheese is melted (you can fudge on the time if necessary).  Serve with tortilla chips.

If doubling (which we usually do), use a 9×13 pan and allow two bags of chips.

This reheats excellently. It can be made up ahead of time and baked later.

About Charity

I have an inexcusable number of cookbooks (and like to experiment with them), have worked in architectural antiques, and have been sewing most of my life. I recently graduated with a Ph.D. in Apparel, Merchandising, & Design from Iowa State University. Doing household things (except for cleaning!) and hunting for antiques are my favorite pastimes.
This entry was posted in Appetizers & Snacks, In the Kitchen. Bookmark the permalink.

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